Kissing Bridge Trail Studio Tour Celebrates Woolwich Township Artists

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Melissa Kristensen-Smith’s Kissing Bridge will be on display at Block 3 Brewing in St. Jacobs as part of the Kissing Bridge Trail Studio Tour, October 22-23.
  • Marshall Ward is a local freelance writer and artist.

My family loves a good studio art tour in the fall.

It’s such a fun way to find unique works of art and meet talented painters, sculptors, photographers, potters, cabinet makers and creators of all kinds.

The 2022 Kissing Bridge Trail Studio Tour runs October 22-23, 10am-5pm, featuring some of my favorite local artists like Carolyn Parks and Della vanDokkumburg of Blue Sky Art Studio in the village of St. Jacobs.

Parks uses traveling wool to create vibrant and beautiful wool paintings through the wet felting process, while vanDokkumburg draws striking and whimsical buildings in watercolor, ink and markers, inspired by the rural and historic setting. of Woolwich Township.

The tour will feature 20 artists in various personal studios and commercial spaces located in St Jacobs, Elmira and Winterbourne.

I’m especially thrilled to see the work of Melissa Kristensen-Smith, who marries old-world craftsmanship with cutting-edge technology to create, with her husband Andre, beautiful photographs printed on pieces of oak, ash and wood. salvaged maple.

“The tour is a celebration of artists from Woolwich Township,” Kristensen-Smith said.

“It invites people in the community to explore and get to know the talent that lives here and it’s an opportunity to meet friends and make new ones. We also have guest artists who join the tour from outside the community.

Kristensen-Smith has been involved in photography since the age of 12, when she received her first camera.

“This year I’m showing new photographs,” she said. “André and I have experimented with cutting the wood in different ways to highlight the texture. There are never two identical imprints.

The couple also started creating sustainable fashion pieces from wood.

“I call them Danish-inspired wooden handbags and wallets,” she said. “André is the wood craftsman and I embellish the pieces with laser engraved Scandinavian folk art designs. This was something we had more time to develop thanks to being locked in the workshop during COVID.

For the past few years, Kristensen-Smith had gallery space in the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market log cabin.

“I went back to my workshop-workshop in Ariss,” she said.

“We’ve changed the space so I can have visitors by appointment but it’s a bit off the beaten track so this year for the tour I’m being hosted by the lovely folks at Block 3 Brewing at St. Jacobs. So I recommend timing your visit so you can enjoy the beer while you sail.”

I asked Kristensen-Smith what she likes best about a free self-guided tour like the Kissing Bridge Trail Studio Tour.

“The fun of a self-guided tour is being able to enjoy a day with friends, learn about new artists, and get excited about owning a one-of-a-kind piece,” she said. . “I love adding a new piece to my art collection and looking for paintings or even jewelry that makes me happy.”

Couldn’t agree more, so maybe I’ll see you on the tour.

For more information, visit kbtstudiotour.ca.

Marshall Ward is a freelance writer and artist. Check out his award-winning podcast on bonnpark.com.

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